Aepona announced today
their new "Voice Call Continuity" for wireline and broadband service providers. Their solution integrates with the service provider's existing services, leveraging standard such as SIP, IMS, and SS7 to deliver intelligent rating and charging. Aepona goes beyond mere call handoff to provide a VCC solution that integrates with the service provider's existing services and OSS/BSS systems. Its VCC solution provides wireline and broadband IP service providers with the capability to seamlessly implement their fixed mobile convergence strategies by assuring scalability, service interaction, and intelligent rating and charging.
A unique aspect of Aepona's approach to VCC is the company's emphasis on the real-world challenges that are faced by service providers deploying fixed mobile convergence and triple or even quadruple play. Aepona's VCC solution addresses the process of continuing a voice (or video) call as a user moves between an IP-based access network that supports VoIP and a mobile network. As wireline and broadband service providers migrate to IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and offer their customers wireless service (either directly or as MVNOs), Aepona enables them to use VCC to offer the use of a single phone number (or SIP identity) as well as seamless transfer of services between a cellular network and an IMS/IP network.
The service provider then has the ability to deliver a truly converged service offering, rather than just being a single source of billing.
"The ability of subscribers to optimally move to and from any network based on the VCC specifications will be one of the main initial drivers for service providers to implement IMS in their networks," said Jean-Charles Doineau, Service Infrastructure Practice Leader at leading research firm, Ovum. "Many wireline service providers are taking a service-led approach towards adopting IMS, and our research indicates that they view VCC as being a strategically important element of their fixed mobile convergence strategies."
Call handover is the current focus of standards activity, however VCC does not exist in isolation and there are significant issues in its deployment. For example, as part of the drive towards the single phone concept with convergence, it is generally accepted that users will need to be to be charged differentially when using multiple networks. Aepona provides the call supervision needed to create the necessary charging records and crucially inter-work with real-time charging engines. It also ensures that charging is properly handled both for pre- and post- paid subscribers.
Aepona's VCC solution provides service interaction management to resolve conflicts between VCC applications that use both IN and SIP signalling with the same trigger points as other services and enable the services to interwork. This enables service providers to deploy existing value-added services using legacy technology and the ability to offer new ones will emerge as IMS/SIP takes hold. It also provides the intelligence and additional information, such as location and customer preferences, to ensure that unnecessary resources are not used by calls tromboning in and out of the IMS overlay.
"VCC functionality is native to our Universal Service Platform, including the required connectors to both SIP/IMS and SS7 networks, multi-party call control, user status and charging capabilities", said Kieran Dalton, Aepona's Chief Technical Officer. "This means that our VCC solution can address the necessary details that will make VCC a practical reality for wireline and broadband service providers."